by Sheri Schofield
There’s a young squirrel living in the pile of boulders behind my house. She likes to eat her breakfast on my back deck. I know this because she leaves behind dissected pine cones every morning. She hangs around the back door and greets me when I come outside. I call her Daisy.
This morning, Daisy wasn’t just chattering. She was sitting in a tree looking at the boulders and shouting at the top of her lungs!
I glanced over at her home and noticed that a wild ferret was perched on the top of the boulders. He was looking for breakfast. Daisy was telling everyone in the neighborhood, “An enemy is invading, and you’d better watch out!
It reminded me of Ezekiel 3:17. God told Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately” (NLT).
In ancient days, kings appointed watchmen to stand on the walls of the city and look out for approaching enemies. When the watchmen would see danger, they would sound the alarm. People working outside the city walls would hurry inside and the gates would be shut. Soldiers would rush to the top of the walls to defend their people.
God compared his prophets to watchmen, for their job was to warn people of approaching spiritual danger. The Apostle Paul drew a similar comparison when he wrote, “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over our souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit” (Hebrews 13:17, NLT).
Who are these spiritual leaders? Are they our pastors? Yes, some of them are pastors. But there are others as well. People who have lived in obedience to Jesus for many years become spiritual leaders, too. These leaders are called to teach younger believers the ways of Christ and how to avoid spiritual danger.
For years, I have watched as certain people have taken up the responsibility of watching over younger people. I myself have poured out my life for the children in my ministry and then have become a spiritual guide for some as they have grown older. God appoints us as watchmen for these younger ones, people who will stand by them and point them to Jesus and His ways during their trials.
Recently, one of “my” kids, who has grown up and moved away, emailed me that her truck had been stolen. She had no transportation. Her apartment keys were in the truck, too. She was very anxious and upset.
The Lord told me, “I am testing this young woman. Tell her to trust me.”
I said, “Honey, this is just a test. God has this under control. It has not surprised him at all. The sooner you trust him, the sooner this test will be over. Someday you will be a leader and a young person will come to you in crisis. Then you will tell them, ‘This is just a test. Trust God!’ ”
She smiled and calmed down. She got it! By the next morning, the police had found and returned her truck. She had listened to the watchman God had appointed for her.
We who follow Christ have been given watchmen for our souls, and we become watchmen for others as we mature in Jesus. It is how we grow strong together. It is the way of love. We need each other.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Sheri’s new book, The Prince And The Plan, is a beautifully illustrated, interactive picture book, written for children ages 4-8, that helps parents lead their children into a lasting, saving relationship with Jesus. It explains abstract concepts through words and interactive, multi-sensory activities. Useful for children’s ministry as well.
Join the Conversation: Is there a watchman in your life? A family member or friend that both encourages and holds you accountable?